Thursday had begun just as Wednesday had. It was quiet and Jason had felt it everywhere in his bones. He got up, as he normally did, used the restroom, and came out to the living room to pour himself a cup of black coffee, thanks to the automatic coffee maker. After what he had experienced the previous day, he wondered if he should put something in the coffee to make it stronger but if he was the last person on earth, he wanted to conserve the alcohol and he still wanted answers. In truth, he had come home and stared blankly at a wall for some time, not knowing what to make of any of it and deciding that evasion was the best escape at the moment. Perhaps it would pass or he’d wake up from some sort of dream but he never did. Everything that he had felt was painfully real.

With a cup of coffee in hand he went to check his phone and noticed all of the missed calls and messages. Then he had checked the date and time on all of them, all yesterday. That simply couldn’t be, and he scrolled through them. One from his assistant reminding him that he had appointments for Thursday in the afternoon, a couple of emails from colleagues on a variety of issues. Then he saw it, a response from Julia. One response, two responses, three, a couple of missed phone calls and a voicemail.

Jason, it’s Julia. Uh… please call me when you get a chance. I’m really worried about you. I know I shouldn’t be but you seemed more than a little off when I saw you today. It was… it was like you weren’t even here. I’m worried and I want to see you as soon as you’re feeling better. Please call me. I’m here for you. Okay… bye.

Jason sighed heavily and threw the phone on the bed, trying to gather his thoughts for a moment. Crane too, sighed heavily and wondered what the hell they were going to do next. The last thing that they needed was to be locked up somewhere because someone thought they were crazy. This was exactly what Crane had been worried about when he had first started seeing Julia. It was why he had cancelled so many sessions with her when he had been at the wheel and not Jason. You need to appeal to her. The voice inside of Jason’s head was saying the obvious and so he chose to ignore it. Strike her with fear and then she’ll think she’s crazy. “If you think for one second that I am going to do that, you’re out of your mind, Crane. It’s not happening. Not with her. Perhaps someone else but not her.” Crane sighed heavily in his head and went back to dormant status.

It was still early but Jason thought that he should check in with her. Perhaps see her later. Can we meet today? He didn’t want to call her because this was not a conversation he wanted to have over the phone. A few moments passed before she had typed back to him. Yes. I can see you at 8:30? I know it’s last minute but I’m in the office already. I didn’t sleep well last night. He looked down at the phone and typed back. I will be there. And he got a shower and got dressed to get out of the door, perhaps a little more disheveled than he would have liked.

When he arrived, her car was in the parking lot so that gave him some sort of relief. He walked in and noticed that her receptionist was not yet in so he just let himself in. “Julia, are you here?” It had felt like some sort of deja vu and there was part of him that wondered if this was perhaps a Groundhogs Day scenario where it would loop for him for the rest of his life. “I’m right here,” she called out from behind her desk. She was wearing a simple dress and had her suit jacket on the back of her chair at the moment. He noticed that she smiled at him when he turned around and that’s when she moved up to him to reach out and touch his shoulder. “You know that I am here, right?” He nodded at her, almost confused but he wasn’t sure what to make of what had happened to him. She reached up to ran a hand across his cheek. “I was worried about you.” He didn’t say anything again and she motioned for him to sit down and so he did, she took a seat in her normal chair across from him.

“Julia, I don’t remember what happened to me.” Now she simply nodded and reached for her pen and paper. “Please, not now. If I came here yesterday I need to know what happened, Jules. I can’t have you psychoanalyzing me when I don’t know what the fuck happened.” She put the pen and paper on the table and sighed. “I believe you were having some sort of episode yesterday. I would think that you were perhaps having a psychotic break but you mentioned having episode. You called for me and it was like you couldn’t see or hear me. Or feel me.” She looked down for a moment, playing with the pen in her hands. He noticed that she wasn’t looked at her now. “Have you had episodes like this before?” He sighed and squinted a bit before shaking his head. “Not anything like that. I’ve had dreams but nothing like that.” Julia moved a piece of hair behind her ear and crossed her legs. “Jules, I’m not crazy. I have… problems but the dreams are becoming real. I should have told you before but…” She stopped him and reached out and grabbed his hands. “Jason, stop. Whatever you experienced yesterday, I haven’t seen you like that before. I’m concerned that something bigger is happening here but I don’t know if I can be the one to help you anymore.”

She let go of his hands and got up, pacing back and forth. “Back when we were in school, I always wanted to beat you. You were always the thorn in my side and it was good for me. I thrived on that. And that turned into something else entirely and now… I just don’t know if I can separate the two sides of you.” Julia turned away and Jason looked at her for a moment before getting up and carefully wrapping his arms around her waist. “What if that was all just a game? Everything that happened yesterday was simply to see how you would react to me.” She turned around and a sly smile crept across her face. “Jason Carew. You son of a bitch.” And then a slap hard to the side of his face. Oh yeah, he deserved that one. Then she caressed the side of his face. “You are going to keep me on my toes, aren’t you?” All he did was smile and nod before letting his lips crash into his. Mission accomplished, Crane.